Tenor Fred C. VanNess Jr. now resides in Beverly, Mass. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, September 21, 2012 2:44 PM
The theme of the season’s opening concert by the Lake Charles Symphony is “Journey from the Czech Republic to New York City.” But “via Kinder” might be added.
The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in the Lake Charles Civic Center’s Rosa Hart Theater. It will be dedicated to the memory of William Kushner, conductor of the orchestra for many years.
To learn know more about symphony programs and meet the conductor and soloists, music lovers can take part in the orchestra’s Discovery programs, which will be held the Thursday before each of the season’s three concerts.
This season’s first will be at 5:30 p.m. today, Sept. 20, in the home of John and Corelie Pohorelsky at 2030 Charvais in Lake Charles.
Bohuslav Rattay, conductor of the orchestra, will speak on pieces to be performed at the concert. Tenor Fred C. VanNess Jr., soloist, will probably sing parts of the arias he will perform at the concert, Rattay said. VanNess is a native of Kinder.
“The Discovery Series is an informal time for us to explain the stories behind the music and to answer questions audience members may have,” Rattay said in a telephone interview with the American Press. “During the concert, I don’t have much time to speak about the music, and the musicians wouldn’t want to sit there doing nothing while I’m talking.”
The orchestra will play “Die Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana and the symphonic suite “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein.
“The Moldau River runs through Prague and Bohemia to the Elba and on to the sea,” Rattay said, “and ‘West Side Story’ is set in New York City,” thus the title of the concert. The theme of the 2012-13 season of the orchestra is “Journeys.”
“Die Moldau” is part of Smetana’s larger work, which translates to “My Country,” and is almost a national anthem for the Czech Republic, he said. “It is a favorite of our audience.”
VanNess said he hadn’t thought about a career in music until his second year at McNeese State University. He was majoring in education and took piano and another music course for non-music majors and decided to make the change.
“That was 10 years ago,” he said from his new home in Beverly, Mass.
He said he is really excited to be coming back to Lake Charles and performing with the symphony.
“I attended the orchestra’s performance and sang at McNeese, but 10 years ago I would have never thought about singing with the symphony.”
Asked about other milestones in his career, he said one was probably his first trip to Italy.
“I was performing in a lead role in an Italian opera in Italy with an Italian director and an Italian cast and an Italian audience, and it was a significant milestone for me,” he said.
He will sing “Questa o quella” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto”; “Recondita” from Puccini’s “Tosca”; “Kuda Kuda” from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”; “La Fleur” from Bizet’s “Carmen”; and “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from “L’elisir D’amore” by Gaetano Donizetti.
“I’m excited to be singing the Russian one. It will be my first time to do it in public,” he said. “Of course everyone likes Puccini. I like them all and look forward to performing them.”
In addition to McNeese, VanNess holds degrees from Longy School of Music at Bard College on the Hudson River in New York and Louisiana State University.
The first concert of the “Journeys” season of the Lake Charles Symphony will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in Rosa Hart Theater.
Season memberships for three concerts are $50 and $35 for students and seniors. Single-concert tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.
The Discovery Series concert preview will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21, in the home of John and Corelie at 2030 Charvais. Season memberships are $20.
Tickets may be ordered at www.lcsymphony.org, by calling 433-1611 or at the symphony office, 809 Kirby St.
Posted By: MIKE On: 9/24/2012
FRED DID AN AMAZING JOB